Katie Scott - Illustration and Visual Media
In the final stages of the DPS year everyday begins and ends almost the same. For some it’s staring out of a confined window in a tiny flat, or spent waking up in a crowded family home that so many years were associated with childhood, the aroma of coffee brewing in a background of chaos and confusion.
Articulated in my last presentations, this year has been an existential development in my practise and approach to a plethora of ambitions and projects. As we all adjust and adapt to our idea of what the new normal may look like, we’ve all made sacrifices somewhat to the way we think and the way we do. This hasn’t necessarily been made easy or pleasant as studios of all kinds are unavailable and the lack of funding has prevailed the industry and students are left with nothing but a pile of debt as they graduate without a degree show and enter into a significantly depleted industry.
However, pausing the concept of restriction at this moment in time, we may all rather account for the things we do have access to and the things we have within our reach. Like in all creative movements there have been orchestras of rebellion in communities, cultures and social groups and this can be determined in this global crisis we are currently in. What I mean is that artists by nature are problem solvers, innovators, inventors - constantly coming up with solutions and pathways that construct ‘new’ normals.
The ways in which I have approached these last project proposals have taught me resilience and commitment to my work I had never experienced in my placement with Dazed at the beginning of the year or any of my formal trials and job interviews. This expansion has been created through this restriction, and I have been witnessing the industry and myself communicating to our new realities in a more ‘civilised’ and thoughtful manner. Learning to listen and respond to our environments more than before, egos and charisma no longer idolised over common sense and integrity towards achieving creative solutions.
I can be bold enough to claim this as over the last month I have been day in and out contacting individuals all around the World, discussing these lessons that have been consumed since the pandemic claimed our livelihoods and naive innocence many months ago. Listening, and really listening, talking to people who I have never spoken to before, or didn’t much before, has been a huge milestone - learning what I want my work to communicate and more importantly, who do I want my work to serve?
Authenticity to me now describes objects and experiences that are profound and effective to give back to people, our vulnerable planet and the ecosystems that exist under our failed capitalist regimes. I feel this has been important to acknowledge as beyond this next 6 months or year, this virus will continue to effect our lives as we are encouraged to live each day as it comes. In fear of what we still have left to loose or mourn what already has been lost. Therefore, as we lose this control we identified with pre COVID19 in coherence to our calculated sums of success and fortune, we must learn to make the most of the things we do have, at no extra cost, money or other.
Working on now a few developmental journals including coding, film making and photography, as we approach the concluding months of DPS I have used this time in lockdown to improve my core skills in all of these avenues which I am excited to share, while also building relationships in all of these sectors, perhaps more successfully than I had done before the pandemic. The visual documentary I am still working on and will be developing further into June has expanded on my communication with others and opened up my skills whilst collaborating. From this, I no longer consider myself as a one woman practitioner as I begin to address that my work is greatly inspired by others and how these connecting bridges really do turn a good project into a great one.
My more independent practise has also pushed forward my thesis subject discussing technological anthropology in the creative arts. Ending the extended five week intensive online coding course, I have been able to take my interests and knowledge into a profession that I was somewhat intimidated by before. I will continue this academic journey using code into new projects as I have discovered a new and accessible way to draw ideas that are made using this complex visual language available to everyone, and is also free. Community has been emphasised in this pathway I hadn’t anticipated, as the threads of community that push creative code are incredibly open and up to challenges presented by individuals online in contrast to other creative communities. This has been greatly encouraging as prior to this, the emphasis on competition and rivalry was more than off-putting. Of course this element exists and should be ‘embraced’ in most industries, however it is refreshing to be presented with a progressive outlook on professional relationships and approaching work with nothing but open-mindedness and good intention.
Practising photography, the subject I was most set on pursuing for the last two years has in a way been overshadowed by my discovery of a multi faceted practise. I have discovered that photography is an element of my practise however something that should be paired with other professions and skills as I know to seek joy, pleasure and discovery through other modes of visual communication. In a way this element I’ve discovered has allowed me to see the future perhaps more positively as I’m not restricted to one role or skill. This is perhaps the greatest thing I have discovered through DPS, it’s a great thing to constantly learn and reach new depths through exploration of the unknown and simply pursue your interests - don’t necessarily chase them if luck doesn’t come knocking.